Class C Airspace

Class C airspace surrounds airports that are very big, but not as big as airports in Class B airspace.

It is shaped like an upside-down wedding cake but with fewer rings than class B airspace has.

For example, Lehigh Valley International (pictured below) has an inner ring that extends from the surface up to 4400 feet MSL.

The outer ring has three sections. The largest of them extends from 2200 feet up to 4400 feet. The other two both extend up to 4400 feet, but the bottom of the airspace begins at 1900 in one and 2800 feet in another.

There are plenty of Class C airspace areas that are not perfectly circular.

What is required to enter class C airspace?

To enter class C airspace you must establish two-way radio communications with the approach controller for that airspace.

What are the weather requirements in class C airspace?

In class C airspace you must have a separation of 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, and 2,000 feet horizontal from any cloud. This is the standard cloud clearance restriction that applies in most airspace while flying VFR. Don’t get too close to the clouds.

The visibility must be 3 statute miles or greater.

Class C airspace is very busy, with a mixture of VFR and IFR traffic arriving and departing. Keep your eyes scanning for traffic and stay aware of your location relative to the airport.